Time running out for Finals run, but Jets 'keeper Moss remains unfazed
Newcastle Jets may have just five games left to stake an unlikely claim for a place in the Hyundai A-League 2019 Finals Series, but ‘nothing changes’ in their preparations, according to goalkeeper Glen Moss.
Moss, one of three players in Ernie Merrick’s side to have played for this weekend's rivals (Saturday, 5.35pm AEDT) Wellington in years gone by, knows the importance of taking things one game at a time.
And with Newcastle Jets five points away from sixth-placed Adelaide United, there is some truth to the old adage of simply getting on with the job at hand and hoping the other pieces fall into place.
“I’ve been saying that since Round 10, so nothing changes as a player,” Moss said.
“You go out there, you’re gutted if you come off losing and happy if you come off winning.
“So nothing changes in that mentality, but it’s definitely a must-win game.
“As a player, you ask anyone if they want to go out there and ‘does it matter if you lose?'. Whether it’s a pre-season game, Round 1 or the Grand Final – it’s no different.
We are aware that [with] five games to go, it’s getting pretty tight there and we don’t have many chances left.”
The Phoenix are a different side since Glen Moss parted company with them in May 2017, thanks in no small part to the work of their swashbuckling coach, Mark Rudan.
Rudan, who was previously untested at professional level, arrived in Wellington with the club in disarray after a disappointing 2017/18 campaign that saw them finish ninth.
Fast forward six months and 22 games, and the ‘Nix are sitting pretty in fourth and challenging for a home semi-final.
“They’ve had a fantastic season and it’s credit to Mark Rudan, who’s come in and really changed things around over there,” Moss said.
“And as a Kiwi it’s quite pleasant to see, actually, the side going really well — the club getting the exposure it deserves after all these years.
“They’re riding a bit of a wave at the moment but, having said that, we’ve had a couple of good games ourselves.”
While the Jets may have to battle a bus ride to Sydney, coupled with a two-hour flight and two-hour time difference in Wellington, Moss said players could not use the long journey as an excuse for a poor performance.
“[The trip to Wellington is] not too bad to be honest,” Moss said.
“Myself, Matty (Ridenton) and Lewis Italiano have been doing it for five years and it’s a couple of hours on a flight and a bus trip down to Sydney.
“To be honest, Perth’s probably the longer one to be fair – the time difference isn’t too bad in Wellington, either.
“So I don’t think any of those factors come into play, it’ll be nice and cool over there, which is another good thing for us.
“There are no excuses for this game, that’s for sure.”